A/N: This is Post OotP. Draco/Ginny if you couldn't tell. All reviews welcome. ->--
Ginny Weasley crashed onto her bed, kicking the blue velour throw to the foot of her bed. It was too hot to actually use it. Summer at the Burrow was always warm, but today the house felt like a furnace. She plumped the pillow and buried her face in it as she heard Ron start banging on her door, wanting to chat about his date with Hermione. She wasn't in the mood to listen to him moon over Hermione. She just wanted to go to sleep, so she ignored him until he went away. Finally, she could sleep.
Tap. Pause. Tap. Tap. Ginny sighed and got up. Anything else she would have ignored, but only one person used that signal and only because fear drove him to it. She crossed to the window and yanked it open, giving him a hand as he climbed over the sill. He was soaked from the summer rain and despite the heat he was shaking in fear.
"C'mon. I stole some of Ron's sweatpants yesterday. Go change into something dry."
Mutely, he obeyed, slipping into her bathroom. He reappeared a few moments later, toweling his hair dry. Ginny tossed her two giant navy throw pillows on the floor and handed him the velour throw that she had just rejected. He dropped to the floor and jerked the blanket over his head, obviously too upset to talk. Ginny went back to her bed, but dropped her hand over the edge on his side. Seconds later he took it, intertwining their fingers.
"Thanks, Gin. I'm too old to still be doing this almost every night, but you never complain."
"I wouldn't send a flobberworm back to that house. It's not like you're hurting anything and you've done your fair share of comforting me. But the punishment if someone found out now is certainly more dangerous."
"Yeah?" he chuckled low in his throat. "How so?"
"When you were seven, my mum would have scolded us, wringing out a confession in the process, taken one look at your back and decided to keep you. Now there is the distinct possibility of my brothers forming a lynch mob and hanging you from the nearest tree."
"Better your brothers than my father. At least they wouldn't crucio me."
Ginny squeezed his hand. "I'm sorry, Draco."
"They were fighting again. Yelling and then he hit her. I tried to help her, but he had his wand. I didn't. Mother sent me upstairs, but I could still hear them fighting."
"It isn't your fault."
Sleepy, Ginny tightened her grip and whispered the words that were so familiar now after nine years, the words that she said every night he came in the window, the only words of comfort that either felt completely safe in offering. "How long will you stay tonight?"
"I'll be here when the sun rises, but I'll be gone before you wake." Every night it was the same reply, a nighttime ritual started as young children and continued through the years out of habit. Then they lay there in companionable silence until both had fallen asleep.